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Leadership Development Program

What is required of a J.L. Bedsole Scholar?

The J.L. Bedsole Scholars Program is first and foremost a leadership scholarship program. Bedsole Scholars are chosen based on their leadership abilities more so than academic success. In support of that mission, Bedsole Scholars are required to:

  • Maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA (Grades must be received after each semester)

  • Maintain full-time status at an accredited four-year college or university in the State of Alabama

  • Perform 60 hours of community service by the end of the junior year at a rate of 20 hours per year

  • Attend all of the following Required Annual Summer Programs for leadership training:
         - Leadership Training Seminar I for rising sophomores
         - Leadership Training Seminar II for rising juniors 

  • Comply with all other Bedsole regulations and mandates

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Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

- Jack Welch

Required Summer Programs

What are the Required Annual Summer Programs?
All of the Programs offered are for the benefit of J.L. Bedsole Scholars by helping to develop leadership skills, networking opportunities and resume experience. The following leadership development programs are required for all J.L. Bedsole Scholars.

1. Leadership Training Seminars
Every Bedsole Scholar is required to attend two Leadership Training Seminars as part of their leadership development. Both seminars are held on the same day, usually the last Saturday in May or the first Saturday in June. Depending on the holiday weekend.

  • Leadership Training Seminar I: The theme of Seminar I is Leading Self. Rising sophomores are required to attend Seminar I at the end of their freshman year in college. It is geared to preparing Bedsole Scholars for college by increasing their capacity for personal and professional success, community problem solving, to prioritize tasks and to handle challenges with confidence and efficiency.

  • Leadership Training Seminar II: Seminar II's theme is Leading Others. Rising juniors are required to attend Seminar II at the end of their junior year in college. Seminar II is geared to preparing Bedsole Scholars for leadership roles beyond college by helping them to develop the competencies needed to accomplish goals in a team driven environment, to challenge them to think outside the box and to become better communicators who inspire others to achieve success.

2. Community Service
Bedsole Scholars are required to complete 60 hours of community service by the end of their junior year in college at a rate of 20 hours by the end of each academic year (end of spring). Community Service must be performed with a non-profit, 501(c)(3) volunteer service organization geared to community betterment. The areas of community service must also fall within areas funded by The J.L. Bedsole Foundation. These are:

  • health and human services

  • education

  • community development

  • arts and culture.

Students are not allowed to satisfy their Bedsole community service requirements by volunteering for political parties or political campaigns. To satisfy all Community Service requirements, Bedsole Scholars must also comply with the following:

  • Approval: Community Service must be approved by The Scholars Program prior to beginning work. In this way, The Scholars Program has a record of what each Scholar is doing, who the supervisor is and when to expect the completed timesheet.

  • Timesheets: Timesheets must be signed by the appropriate community service employer within two weeks of the completion of service hours. Bedsole Scholars must complete 60 hours of community service by the end of their junior year at a rate of 20 hours pre academic year. Timesheets are due by the close of the academic year (at the end of the spring semester).

  • Volunteer Coordinator: Incoming freshmen are encouraged to meet with their college volunteer service coordinators as soon as possible (prior to or shortly after the fall semester begins). Volunteer service coordinators help match Scholars with service organizations that meet their interest and skills.

  • Community Service Updates: Bedsole Scholars are also required to update The Scholars Program regularly as they perform community service hours

Additional Programs

What optional leadership development programs exist for J.L. Bedsole Scholars?While they are not required, the following programs are highly encouraged for all J.L. Bedsole Scholars. Each of these programs provide professional networking opportunities, resume experience and additional leadership development training.

1. The Career Preparation Internship Program (Career Prep)
The Career Prep Internship Program is designed to provide students with a paid summer internship where they can gain valuable career related experience. Each year, up to 15 Bedsole Scholars are recruited and matched according to career related interests with area businesses who act as Mentors. Students are required to work a total of 210 hours during the 7-week internship and complete a paper chronicling their summer experience. At the conclusion of the internship, students participating in Career Prep are paid a $2,000 stipend by The J.L. Bedsole Foundation. Students participating in Career Prep are not allowed to schedule summer classes during the day or take extended summer vacations.

 The eligibility requirements for enrolling in Career Prep are:

  • Career Prep interns must be at least sophomore status (in their second year of college). 

  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is mandatory by the end of the fall semester. A Bedsole Scholar will not be added to Career Prep until The Scholars Program has received a copy of his or her fall transcript showing the cumulative GPA is at least 3.0!

  • Career Prep interns are not allowed to schedule summer classes during the day or take extended summer vacations since interns will be working approximately 30 hours a week or more.

2. Job References And Letters of Recommendation
Representatives of The J.L. Bedsole Scholars Program often aid students in finding meaningful employment. This occurs through writing letters of recommendation, being used as professional references and making contacts to businesses and organizations on a Bedsole Scholar's behalf in an effort to facilitate job interviews. There are no guarantees of employment, as employment is based strictly on the job market and whether a company or organization has an opening and is willing to hire.



3. The Website and Newsletter
The J.L. Bedsole Foundation website is where important information concerning Bedsole Scholars is posted. All policy, travel itineraries, event planning and contact information can be found on the website. Make a point to visit the website often for important information.

What are the performance expectations of Bedsole Scholars enrolled in these programs?

Certain programs offered by The J.L. Bedsole Scholars Program, such as Career Prep, require the participation of third parties to ensure their success. The J.L. Bedsole Foundation and Scholars Program respects the personal sacrifice, effort and time put into these programs by state and local community leaders and area business professionals.

By signing up for any program offered by The J.L. Bedsole Scholars Program or by third parties for the benefit of J.L. Bedsole Scholars, a professional commitment is being made that must be honored in the highest professional regard. A Career Prep intern, for example, should think of him or herself as the "employee" and the Mentor or program coordinator as the "employer." In this regard, all Career Prep interns are considered representatives of The J.L. Bedsole Foundation and will thus be held to the highest of standards.

It is the responsibility of each J.L. Bedsole Scholar to research program requirements thoroughly and to perform to the best of his or her ability. If a Bedsole Scholar withdraws from a program (regardless of whether it is a required or optional program) without just cause, he or she may jeopardize scholarship renewal and thus become ineligible for any program in the future!

About the Scholars Program

All scholarship grants are awarded in an objective and non-discriminatory manner, without reference to any grantee’s gender, race, creed, color or religious preference.

                     More detailed information concerning selection criteria can be found here.

We'd love to hear from you!

If you are an alumnus of The J.L. Bedsole Scholars Program, please visit the alumni section of our website. Update us with your contact info, and tell us what is going on in your life.

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